The best present is a present you can eat

A lot of people do not like cooking (*raises both hands*).

A lot of people don’t have time or energy to cook, especially when it’s just for themselves (I lived off frozen fries in my pre-kid days). 
And when you’re an articled clerk at a law firm and you put in a crazy amount of hours each week? Yeah, you really do not have the time, energy, or desire to cook for yourself.
So when Little Sis turned 27 (!!!) a couple of weeks ago, I decided the best gift was something edible. Lots of somethings, actually. Enough to keep her fed around the clock for as long as possible.

I had to make this collage in MS Paint, like it was 1994 or something, because PicMonkey has been down for hours. 

She’s a hard person to buy for, but I had a feeling this would be appreciated. I grabbed a pen and started scribbling ideas on the side of my grocery list one day.
  • Breakfast food
  • Snacks!
  • Lunches for work
  • Dinners that can be made quickly when she finally gets home
  • Desserts
My sister is actually a much better cook than me — she uses spices, even — but I do have the time advantage. So I send Darling Husband to the grocery store with a list, and spend literally one entire day in the kitchen making the following …

Her favourite chocolate-chip pancakes
(My seven-year-old electric griddle died while making the FIRST pancake, so I had to do all of them on the stove in a frying pan. Like a peasant.)
I wrapped each one individually, and they each got their own inspiring message, of course.
Apple juice boxes
(She never buys herself juice, but she loves stealing the kids’ juice boxes.)
Individually wrapped chocolate-dipped granola bars. Mmmm.

I kept it simple because I wanted to make dishes that would freeze well (and, you know, because I’m an incredibly simple cook). I filled a bunch of containers with individual portions of homemade meat sauce and shells, and another bunch of containers with my famous turkey meatballs {recipe here} and brown rice, with veggies.

Little Sis loves my homemade pizza, so I made a vegetarian one and a pepperoni one (using our favourite “good” pepperoni). I also made garlic fingers with lots of cheese, mmmm. Everything was frozen, uncooked, on disposable pans with the baking instructions.


We are hardcore nacho people. So I made an Emergency Nacho Survival Kit with Tostitos, salsa, and pre-shredded Tex Mex cheese.
Peanut Butter Cafeteria Squares
This is one of Little Sis’s favourite desserts {recipe here} because she used to love the peanut butter bars they sold at our elementary school for like 20 cents. I find them a little TOO peanut buttery, but if that’s your thing, you’ll like these.
Peanut butter cookies + PMS cookies
Keeping with the peanut butter theme (I used almost a whole jar that day!) I made three dozen classic peanut butter cookies, forked and all, and packaged them up with baking instructions.
I had a bit of dough leftover, so I decided to make giant-size PMS peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips and M&Ms. Each package contained one for her, and one for her roomie. There’s also a disclaimer that it’s totally OK to just eat the dough. #YOLO
I intended to deliver everything fresh, so Little Sis could decide what to freeze and what to keep in the fridge. But a darn snowstorm struck the next day, and we had to postpone her birthday celebrations for another week. So I stuck it all in the deep-freeze, and packed it into this tote right before we left for the city for Birthday Attempt #2.

It was still freezing out, of course, (*shakes fist at Canada*) so I was able to leave the container on the floor of my mom’s garage until it was time for presents.
She had a few helpers when it was time to open it …
… I think she liked it! 🙂 
This gift was great for my sister, considering her chaotic work-life these days, but my mom actually said she’d love something like this, too, because she hates cooking for herself. I might be onto something here. 
Wouldn’t this be a nice gift for a new mama? I’m not a “new” mama, and if someone gifted me a giant crate of prepared food? …
Related gift ideas (that also involve food)
For Little Sis’s 25th birthday, I put together 25 little gifts that all connected to reasons we love her.

Best Friend and I started a new tradition where we take each other out for lunch around our birthday, instead of exchanging gifts. We LOVE it, and it’s so nice to catch up without the kids. It’s even become a quarterly thing, as we try to sneak in a Christmas lunch and a spring lunch, too. 

For Little Sis’s 26th birthday, I made a “Big Night” kit (everything she needed for a party, including some alcohol, yeah) and a “Morning After” kit (everything she needed for a day of feeling blah on the couch).
For my in-laws for Christmas this year, one of their gifts was this basket of foods and products from where we live. A good idea for people (like them) who have absolutely everything under the sun!

2 Comments on “The best present is a present you can eat

  1. What a meaningful and thoughtful gift! I am impatiently awaiting the arrival of baby number 4 (so def not a new momma here) but I'm sending you my address. I'm sure it only costs a small fortune to mail all of this awesomeness to Utah….


  2. Thanks, BriAnn! I wish Utah was closer so I could toss you a batch of cookies or a Nacho Survival Kit — four kids deserves all the pre-prepared food in the world! 🙂


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